THE doors of Charmouth Library will be thrown open again this week as local volunteers take charge.

It will re-open on Thursday after being closed since January for building and decorating work to take place.

The freehold of the building was transferred from Dorset County Council to the Friends of Charmouth Library after the authority withdrew its funding.

Everyone is invited to the re-opening at 2pm, library user or not.

Hazel Robinson, chairman of the Friends of Charmouth Library, said: “When we waved our protest placards a year ago in an attempt to force Dorset County Council to recognise how we value our library, we could not have envisaged what huge efforts we would have to make to keep it.

“That's all in the past and, though we vehemently believe that there was no need to close libraries as there were other means of making sufficient savings, we have had to do what we have had to do.

“DCC will still provide the books, the computers and a little professional help and Charmouth has to do the rest.”

Charmouth Central Ltd has been formed to take on the freehold of the building and carry out building work, including repairing the roof, installing central heating, and re-decorating.

Mrs Robinson said: “Without the help of local traders, the parish council, generous local donors and the volunteers who help in so many different ways, the library would have been closed last year, never to open again.

“Instead, we have a great drop-in centre - a local community hub, just waiting for all who want to use it.”

Building work on an extension will begin in mid-March, paid for by a £50,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

The extra space will allow refreshments to be served, social and educational activities to be held, a tourist information point, internet cafe facilities, and the selling of locally-produced goods and donated books and DVDs.

To help with ongoing running costs an Auction of Promises will be held on Saturday, March 2 at 7.30pm in The George, Charmouth.

Catalogues are available from